The Inside Scoop on DUE (May 2010)
We are at the end of the term and almost at the end of the academic year. This has been a difficult year for MIT and DUE. We accomplished a great deal while dealing with budget cuts in the current year and planning for cuts that will be the largest in the history of DUE. During the past year we delivered with high quality on the NEASC accreditation review; developed a plan to moderate the growth of financial aid; enabled the faculty to move forward in the HASS changes; and admitted another great class. The fact that we could accomplish all this is a testament your dedication and professionalism.
I am proud of the quality of the DUE team. We have strong leadership in the DUE office heads and an exceptional staff who work hard to support and enhance the educational experience of MIT students. I want to ask all of you to reflect on your accomplishments for this past year and feel proud of what you have done. I am pleased with how well DUE has delivered and tell that to all who ask me.
On April 28, sixty-five of MIT’s finest undergraduates selected as Orientation Leaders, Captains, and Coordinators joined forces to prepare for the 1,070 new students who will join MIT this fall. The student leaders discussed key issues incoming students may face including managing new social experiences and academic rigors at the institution. Leaders brainstormed strategies for empowering students to successfully navigate their new environment and to explore the wealth of resources available to them at MIT. To officially welcome the incoming class on their first day at MIT, teams of leaders also designed letters to create a large sign that spells out the word “Orientation”.
With a cohesive group of energetic and engaged student leaders, Orientation for the Class of 2014 is sure to be the best one yet. Here’s to a new class building rich, fulfilling lives here at MIT!
Ruben Alonzo, an MIT junior who wants to use his own escape from poverty as a model for improving the lives of at-risk youth through education, has been awarded a 2010 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
Alonzo, an economics major from Crystal City, Texas, is among approximately 60 students nationwide selected as winners of the $30,000 graduate scholarship. Awarded each year, the scholarships aim to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service.
Prof. Elizabeth Wood's Russian Timeline is finished and publicly viewable. Built from the contributions of students in Wood's Soviet History course (21H.267), the timeline traces the events of 1917, a tumultuous year in Russian history. Visitors to the timeline can understand the year across several different modalities, either by reading the site across time (horizontally) or across social groups (as they are listed vertically). The timeline's flash application was developed by independent programmer Ben Brophy (formerly of MIT AMPS). Molly Ruggles of OEIT assisted with technical facilitation, web design, and coordination of student material.
Students in this year’s Terrascope Radio class created and broadcast an original program called “The Heated Future: A Timely Tale.” An innovative combination of radio-drama and documentary formats, “The Heated Future” tells the story of three teens who begin their lives in a dystopian future a century or two from now, when human society is suffering under the influence of global warming. They find a mysterious space-time machine, which carries them back in time to present-day Abu Dhabi, where they explore Masdar, a city designed to be completely carbon-neutral and sustainable. Their adventure leads them to wonder whether there is anything they can do now, in the 21st century, to help prevent the catastrophic future they were born into.
In creating this story, Terrascope Radio students used interviews and other audio gathered during an actual field trip to Abu Dhabi and Masdar City, which is currently under construction. The original dramatic story with which they have framed those interviews personalizes what might otherwise seem like abstract issues, and makes it clear why it is important to act now to prevent a climate catastrophe. Be sure to listen to this unique and compelling production.
Setting up an HPC cluster in the cloud can be a daunting task for new users looking to utilize the cloud to run their HPC applications. Learning the ins and outs of the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model in addition to configuring and installing a typical HPC system is not an easy task.
In order to use the cloud effectively users need to be able to automate the process of requesting and configuring new resources and also terminate resources when they're no longer required without losing data. These concerns can be a challenge even for advanced users and require some level of cloud programming in order to get it right. In an effort to improve this situation, the Software Tools for Academics and Researchers (STAR) group at MIT has created an open-source project called StarCluster that allows anyone to create and manage their own HPC clusters hosted on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) without needing to be a cloud expert.
Several new staff joined DUE between March 30, 2010 and May 24, 2010
DUE Desktop Support
Donyatta Small, IT Consultant I
Global Education and Career Development Center
Scott Murray, Administrative Assistant
ROTC –Naval Science
Dominic Kramer, Technical Instructor
ROTC –Military Science
Wayne Morgan, Technical Instructor
On May 4, 2010, OEIT delivered two topical workshops as part of a series presented by the Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP), an affiliate of Educause. The first, “Education and the Cloud”, was jointly delivered with Bryant University and Pfeiffer University and addressed the challenges of using cloud computing in academic environments to save money while providing cutting-edge services. Justin Riley of OEIT gave an overview of the Software Tools for Academics and Researchers (STAR) group's experiences using cloud computing in the classrooms at MIT.
At the second workshop, “Copyright and IP for Digital Images”, OEIT joined with colleagues from other MIT departments, as well as from Smith College, and University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to deliver a workshop on managing copyrights of digital images in a variety of applications. The event was organized by Peter Wilkins, of OEIT, Ann Whiteside of MIT's Rotch Library, and Elisa Lanzi of Smith College. Joining them from MIT’s Office of the General Counsel were Jay Wilcoxson and Mike Jung.
How much money is in a Brinks truck?
A lot, certainly, assuming it's full. But is it a million? A hundred million? Somewhere in between? Most of us, when presented with such a question, throw up our hands.
Sanjoy Mahajan sharpens his pencil.
To say that Mr. Mahajan, a lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a good guesser doesn't do him justice. He can start with seemingly zero information and, after some furious scribbling and rapid-fire explanations, come up with an answer that's close to the mark.